You always hear about Mom guilt, but you don’t realize how heavy it weighs on people. I think social media plays a huge role in the added guilt that mom’s feel where Dad’s or men in general may not care to look or post as often as some Mom’s. One thing that we had to remember, is how truly amazing we are and how much our little ones love us. You are doing an amazing job. We’re allowed to doubt ourselves, I think it only makes us better parents. We just need to remember that there is no one that could parent your kiddo better then you can.
I often experience guilt in many aspects of my life. It always seems that my mind tends to wander to the place that I’m not. It often starts when I leave for work at 7:15, and wonder if McKenzie will be looking for me when she wakes up. Then you check Instagram on your way to work and either see someone who may have the day off with their kid or maybe they’re a stay a home Mom. Already, the guilt starts to hit for the day that you’re not home with your kid. The day goes on, you get a few photos of your kid and watch the clock until you get to see them again. One thing that I am very grateful for is my support system. My mom watches McKenzie every Monday and Tuesday and my Mother in Law helps out so much with her as well. Brian will take McKenzie to her house some days if he has errands to get done or my Dad will take McKenzie to her house if Brian has to leave on a Friday. I personally work in Manhattan, so once 5pm hits I am out the door to catch my train home. Then the work guilt starts. Am I missing something at work? Did I forget to do something? Does it look bad that I’m leaving before everyone? I’d say a huge percentage of the time, this is all in my head, but then social media adds to this. You may see that some people decided to grab a drink after work and wonder what you’re missing. But I left my kid all day, I wouldn’t miss my 2 hours with McKenzie for grabbing a drink.
It’s almost like you can never win, right? The constant need to find balance between your 9-5 and being a good Mom. I love the quote “we expect women to work like they don’t have children and raise children as if they don’t work”. But do they expect that of us? Or do we just put that pressure on ourselves? I haven’t been out for a drink after work in months. There just aren’t enough things that are worth it for me to miss seeing my daughter for a day. I think what makes it more tough is that I won’t see her when she wakes up the next morning. I’d have to wait until I get home the next day. Maybe it’s because I’m not at the point where I need a break for myself but maybe that’s because I only see her 2 hours a day during the week.
Brian and I are pretty good about managing our time together even though we don’t go out on many dates. We spend our time as a family when I come home from work and then we will work out together after we put McKenzie to bed. On the weekends I’m pretty bad at taking time for myself too. It’s not really an option if Brian is traveling. I could definitely ask one of the grandparents to watch her if I wanted a manicure or something but really never do. Not only do I feel like I’m minimizing my time with her even more if I leave, but Brian is also not home so I don’t want us to both be gone. Then even if Brian is home, I feel bad leaving because we don’t get that much time together as a family. If she’s napping I feel like I should be spending that time with just my husband. It’s fu*ked up that I think this way, I know it is. Brian definitely doesn’t care if I take time for myself. He will even leave my $20 on the table sometimes and tell me to go get a manicure. Heck, he probably wants me to go to he can have a minute to himself too. Maybe I’m just worried about missing something. I have fomo with my own family? It’s funny because I don’t envy or wish that I could have more time for myself, but that is probably because I do get a lot of time by myself.
The grass is always greener though, right? The stay at home mom’s wish they could go to work and interact with humans while us 9-5ers want more time with their kiddos. My Mother in Law often suggests that Brian and I go away for a night and leave McKenzie behind, that Brian and I should focus on our own relationship too. I think because we don’t get that much family time together, this isn’t a priority for Brian and I. Brian travels enough where he wants to come home and fill the void. We have a really strong, healthy relationship and I don’t think we would take away from our family right now to get a night away. It’s not that our relationship isn’t a priority either, but we do get a lot of time just us 2 as well where we are looking for a “break” I guess. I think times have changed especially if a Mom is working full time. I’m not looking to escape my kid just yet, it’s more that my kid is my escape.
Don’t get me wrong, McKenzie is a handful especially the more tired she gets. But, when she finally goes to sleep I can’t wait until she wakes up. My goal for the future is to find more balance. I’d love to get to the point where I feel like I have given McKenzie enough of my time where I wouldn’t feel as guilty going away with Brian for a night or 2. I also wonder if the older they get or the more kids you have the more you look some “me time”. This isn’t me suggesting that any time you go on a date or a vacation without your kid that you’re taking a “break” from them. I think it’s awesome that couples get to do that and I really do think having alone time to really bond and listen to your partner only makes for stronger families. Every couple and every relationship is different. We shouldn’t judge each other based on what we post on social media. Maybe you see that a couple goes out once a week but maybe they’re on their phone the entire time they’re out. There are plenty of couples who stay home with one another who engage more with eachother in the comfort of their own home, you just don’t always know what’s going on behind closed doors. I would love to hear how you guys find balance, I know it’s something I struggle with so I am doing my best to figure it out. I can tell you one person who usually forgets how long she saw me the day before though. Who knew toddlers could be so good at living in the moment 😉